Commonwealth Journal

Local News

December 8, 2012

Canaan Baptist Church members ready to move forward in wake of fire

Somerset —  

Canaan Baptist Church’s life began in a school gym.
“That’s actually why we started going there,” said member Karen Stogsdill.
“We were driving past Shopville School and saw all these cars there.”
The dedicated members of the church rejoiced when they were able to move into a building built just for their needs, located on Pine Hill Road, or Ky. 1317, about seven miles northeast of Somerset.
And that’s what made it that much harder to bear when the structure was
destroyed by a fire Thursday morning, leaving little but blackened debris.
“I’m just speechless,” Stogsdill said on Thursday, just a few hours after the blaze occurred. “It’s totally unexpected and we were there last night (Wednesday) and had a good service and a good time.”
Firefighters with the Dabney Volunteer Fire Department received a call of a fire at the church at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. A passerby had reported the blaze, and by the time they arrived on the scene – just a few minutes later – the structure’s south end was completely engulfed in flames.
Science Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Shopville Volunteer fire Department and Somerset Fire Department assisted, and they stayed on the scene for several hours while containing the blaze.
The fire burned so hot that it claimed the church van, parked to the south side of the building, and it caused the building’s roof to collapse.
The roof collapse caused the blaze to push outward at one point, blowing through the double doors on the building’s north side and straight at firefighters.
Luckily, no one was injured, but firefighters did not enter the building after that due to the danger.
“You can rebuild a church, but you can’t rebuild a body,” said Rick Haynes, assistant chief for Dabney fire Department.

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